Matt Robinson is a Director of Productat Symphony GOLD where he manages the product marketing strategy and activities that drive Symphony GOLD’s Merchandising & Category Management solutions globally for Retailers and CPG manufacturers. With over 20 years of experience in retailing, Matt has operated within Marketing, Category Management and Operations in the grocery, general merchandise and DIY sectors.
Having the right item on the right shelf at the right time is the perennial supermarket challenge. If merchandise is managed correctly, the store will improve customer satisfaction, increase sales and margin, while also improving customer loyalty.
A combination of web-based platform and mobile technology is enabling retailers and CPGs to work more closely than ever before. With improved technology and processes, they can take advantage of consumer and shopper data to align assortment offerings and space allocations with the behavior and preferences of their customers. Here’s how.
1. Data consolidation and integration
Bringing together customer, product and location data to support the category management process provides the information necessary to deliver greater opportunities for sales and category growth in addition to increased employee productivity.
2. Assortment localization
With knowledge of a customer’s preferences and behavior, retailers can develop digital one-to-one relationships with their customers and better tune store assortments to reflect the wants and needs of their customers.
3. Task automation
With repetitive tasks automated, employee effectiveness increases. Workers can rapidly identify opportunities and focus on those initiatives that deliver the most valuable returns to their organization.
4. Collaboration and workflow
In order to leverage the strengths of internal departments and CPG category knowledge, a collaborative platform must combine category objectives, experience, demand and customer data so that retailers and CPGs can quickly respond to shifts in customer demand.
5. Effective execution
Assortments and planograms that are easily modified by store and field teams will improve sales, profitability, inventory and customer satisfaction. To achieve a greater level of store compliance and customer satisfaction, they also must be relevant to both the local shoppers and the constraints of store-specific fixtures.
A web-based merchandise management platform with master data management at its core will enable supermarkets to address the opportunities described above. By consolidating multiple data sources (transactional, loyalty, POS information), retailers can transform that data into customer insight, then leverage them to generate executable category strategies that flow all the way from the estate down to the individual store.
A web-based system has a big impact on employee operations. By automating and mobilizing the category management process, it also allows employees to access information and carry out their roles whenever and wherever they are on any device. With a lower TCO, a cloud-powered category management system and approach can easily unlock 2%-3% positive improvements in category sales and margin.
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